June 04, 2007Anthony Foster - Jun 4, 2007 9:21 pm (17.15.2)

Organism vs. Organization

It's been said before, but I think it is important that you referred to the body as an organism rather than an organization. I note that some of our texts prefer the organizational designation. I also adhere to the belief that all human organizations are organisms. Organizations cannot behave- organisms can. Just as communications are always interpersonal. More is not better if it's communicating the wrong message.

Anthony Foster - May 31, 2007 8:22 pm (17.12.1)


Competition in what should be a team environment would seem to be one way to guarantee that trust will not flourish. The facades and fabricated boundaries you wrote about sometimes seem to be found more readily in ministry situations than one might imagine.

The lack of clearly articulated expectations is based in a real disregard for the dignity of others, as it makes for a situation where the basic values that govern the environment are muddied. There's no way to win in an environment like that.

Faithful wounds, wounded faithful

We can learn much from the wounds that our friends bear as well as from the faithful wounds they may inflict on us by their willingness to tell us the truth. I was alluding to the latter, but your point is just as well taken.
I also completely agree that slowing down and thinking and writing or otherwise articulating the truth makes all the difference. When we operate at the speed of life, objectivity is one of the first casualties.

I second that motion-journaling can lend objectivity

My journals go back uninterrupted to age 16 (35 years) and provide a clear roadmap to me of what God has been doing in my life. I can trace the Biblical passages and books that changed my life, the spiritual transitions and transactions of my life. I can find the songs I was writing and singing, the people who ministered to me and whom I ministered to in return. Without them I don't think I could measure objective reality as well since those words on a page prove Jesus' faithfulness to me over and over and over again. The role of the Holy Spirit in keepng our objectivity is often reflected in the meditations of our heart- and recorded ones bear witness to that Spirit.

False assumptions

I agree. No matter what venue you are working in, the elevation of trust in systems over people quenches creativity and productivity as well. Systems should serve the people who become the process in an organic way. All to often systems become straightjackets. I find this especially where leaders have not had enough experience to afford them the intuition that must attain when leading in a creative environment.

My question is,where do these false presuppositions about the efficacy of systems come from? Partly from a modernist industrial worldview, I suspect. Partly from a strongman management model. Also from what you allude to- it is easy to transfer trust to a system because of the frailties of folks.

I am in a situation where I had to turn around this exact scenario- a previous team had a wonderful system they adhered to and produced nothing (nada) from it. This was after a year and wasting multiple millions of dollars in the process and creating a suspicion of anyone who came along in their stead.

They held tenaciously to the precious process, which might have worked on paper, but failed to take the attitude that a flat hierarchy where everyone tolls up their sleeves for the greater good was the way in this situation to get things done. Their rigid divisions of labor (see other posts) insured that creativity and excellence were not a possibility, and they failed to require that communications flow.

Anthony Foster - Jun 3, 2007 1:29 pm (18.2)

Comments? Questions? Respond on the form below.

When you hit submit your browser will display a message that requires approval
for the e-mail being sent. It's OK. Really.


E-mail address:



From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/